Full of Praise.

April 26, 2012

I’m overdue for his 10 month update, but a lot has been going on in my heart throughout the past couple weeks, and I really wanted to put it down on paper (or blog).

It’s no secret that I’ve had a difficult year. I haven’t written much about it since, but really, not much had changed from then till now. Every month that passed, I still felt burdened, wiped out, defeated, stressed. I chugged along as all mothers do, and there would be days or even weeks that were calmer, where I felt more stable, but never did I feel totally free and at peace. I still kept wondering what was wrong with me, why I was having such a difficult time, if things would ever change or if maybe I just wasn’t cut out for motherhood. Until this past Saturday.

I don’t know what happened exactly. I think it’s a combination of multiple things, but weaning is probably the biggest factor. About a month ago, I decided to wean Ollie cold turkey. I had always had one year in mind as my nursing goal, but one morning I woke up, and I thought, “Maybe it’s time.” Ollie has always been a great nurser–he has always strongly preferred the breast over the bottle. I felt sad and a little guilty to be depriving him of that, but for me, I had reached a point where I just needed one less thing to worry about. I felt so tense and stressed all the time, so full of worry and anxiety about a gazillion things every day. I thought that if I could wean him, it would just lighten the load a little bit. I wouldn’t have to worry about whether he was getting enough milk, or keeping up my supply if he didn’t nurse well for a feeding, or keeping up my supply every month when I got my cycle, or being attached to him 24/7 since he stopped taking a bottle. It hit me that being a good mother meant I needed to take care of myself and my own well-being first, even if it meant no longer giving him breastmilk. The benefits of weaning had come to outweigh the benefits of nursing.

So I weaned him. It went much more smoothly than I expected. Even hormonally, I was expecting to be all over the map for at least a good month or so. But I felt better, almost immediately. Even friends from church said that they could tell that I felt lighter, just by the way I talked and smiled. I seemed happier. Even though I felt lighter pretty much right when I weaned, it has been a gradual upward climb this past month. Feeling better, feeling freer, feeling more like myself. And I guess it peaked this past Saturday when I went down to visit some friends in San Diego for a day by myself. I didn’t realize it until after I came back home, but I feel. much. better. I’m kind of hesitant to use this word, but I think I feel normal again? It was refreshing & therapeutic to see old friends, to talk about them about them & their lives without being half-distracted by my own baby.

I can honestly say that for the first time in over 10 months, I feel free from this immense burden I have carried around with me since the day I became a mother. I wasn’t sure these past ten months, but looking back, I’m pretty sure that I did have some form of postpartum depression. And even though it’s only been about a week or so since I feel “different,” the feeling is such a stark contrast from how I have felt for this past year, that I am pretty confident it’s over. It feels like that Claritin commercial where everything is hazy until you take Claritin, and then the skies are so blue & the grass so green & everything is so crystal clear. I have loved Ollie so much since the first day he was born, and more and more with each passing day, but that love was always clouded by this foggy burden I couldn’t shake. Now it feels like that fog has cleared up.

My heart is swelling now with praise to God, just for His faithfulness to see me through these past ten months. They felt so long & grey, which sounds horrible, but really felt horrible too–I was racked with lots of guilt, confusion, helplessness, discouragement. But the Lord saw me through. Even though I didn’t know when it would end, He did, and He carried me through every sleepless night, every exhausting day. I feel so full of praise to Him for lifting that fog & allowing me the joy of loving my baby without that ugly burden–to feel about motherhood what maybe many women feel from the first weeks of their baby’s life, or at least the first months. It feels overwhelming in a good way, like a miracle that I never really believed I would or could experience.

I know this is kind of a taboo topic, but it’s been the dominating theme of my thoughts this past year. It only felt right to give praise where praise is due, especially to One who is so worthy to be praised.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

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